Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category

Cowboy Birthday

Monday, March 5th, 2018

cowboy-birthday

My son Nathaniel had a fun cowboy birthday theme. His favorite thing to do as a 6-year-old was to shoot off caps guns, wear a cowboy hat, and watch The Lone Ranger. Because of his love for westerns, he even wrote a story that was a cowboy western, with the main character and the villain having a shootout showdown at the end of the story. This is one of the perks of homeschooling. His writing assignments can actually coincide with what he is excited about.

How to Make a Paper Cowboy Vest Craft

For his birthday party, we had the kids make a paper cowboy vest. First you will need some paper bags from the grocery store.We cut them down the middle until we came to the hole for the head, which we also cut out beforehand. Then we painted the vests with tempera paint. We wanted the painted vests to be ready to thread with twine during the party.

cowboy-vest-craft

On the day of the party, the kids cut a fringe on the bottom of their vest. They also used a hole punch to punch holes on the two sides of the vest down the front for the twine to go through. Depending on the age of the child, you might need to punch the holes for a 3-year-old, for example, so that you don’t end up with random holes.

vest-craft-closeup

Then the kids threaded the twine through the holes, making a knot on the bottom and the top on the back where it couldn’t be seen. We attached a sheriff badge to each cowboy vest. We got a package of these at a party supply store.

sewing-paper-vests

The kids loved how their cowboy vests turned out!

How to Make a Horse Cake

horse-cake

Making a horse cake isn’t too difficult. Just bake a rectangular chocolate cake, and shape it into a horse head. The triangle cut from the bottom of the neck will be used for the ear at the top of the cake. We frosted the cake with chocolate frosting and white frosting for the mane. We used black frosting gel to make the bridle and other details. A sweet tart was the eye.

horse-piñata

We also found a horse piñata at a party store, which was perfect for this cowboy birthday theme! My son had a great time and smiled from ear to ear.

Most Popular Blog Posts from 2017

Monday, January 8th, 2018

most-popular-blog-posts-2017

These popular blog posts include spiritual posts, hands-on learning activities, travel adventures, and themed cakes. The ages range from early childhood to high school.

My top ten most popular blog posts from 2017:

Cool Themed Cakes:

  • Dry Ice Volcano Cake: Watch this active volcano erupt with rolling smoke!
  • Army Tank Cake: This is the most awesome cake ever for boys. It came out even better than I envisioned, and we lit a sparkler at the front of the tank.

Hands-on Learning for High School:

Hands-on Learning for Early Childhood

Travel Posts

  • Our Guatemala Adventure: God provided miraculously for us to visit the land of my childhood. My family had the opportunity to meet our Compassion child. Enjoy the virtual tours of a jungle, a castle, a boat ride, and zip-lining!

Spiritual Posts

I wrote two exciting series this year, with accompanying videos for each. As the days grow darker spiritually, we need to know who we are in Christ and how the enemy works:

  • 31 Days to Regaining Your Identity: Know who you are in Christ. You are accepted, loved, forgiven, valuable, wanted, honored, and rejoiced over!
  • Unmasking the Enemy Series: One of the reasons the enemy wreaks so much destruction in our lives is that we don’t recognize his work and disarm it. This series shows you how to overcome the enemy by unmasking his tactics.

My Favorite Post (bonus)

  • Our Family Muppet Show: One of my favorite shows growing up was The Muppet Show. My dad bought my kids some Muppet puppets, so we performed our own show, including the Swedish chef, a music number by Miss Piggy, and various humorous scenes.

And there you have it! Those were my most popular blog posts from 2017. If you missed any of them, now you have a chance to see the ones that really resonated with my readers!

How to Make a Turkey Cake

Monday, November 6th, 2017

turkey-cake

Isn’t this a cute turkey cake? It’s perfect for celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends! You will need two cake boxes, chocolate icing, vanilla icing, and food coloring. You will also need a foil-lined piece of cardboard to place under the cake, and silk autumn leaves to decorate around the finished cake.

turkey-cake-unfrosted

First you will bake two circle cakes. The second cake will be rectangular. After baking and cooling the cakes, you will want to put cellophane on them and place them into the fridge. Cold cake is easier to cut and sculpt than room-temperature cake.

Up-end one circle cake onto the bottom of your foil-lined cardboard. You will want to frost this with chocolate frosting.

Then cut a smaller circle out of the other circle cake. I used a round dish that would be the right size for the head of the turkey. Frost the head with chocolate frosting, too.

From the rectangular cake, cut feathers in the shape of rectangles, while slightly rounding the edges of the tops of the feathers.

how-to-make-a-turkey-cake

Take out one tablespoon of white frosting and set aside for the eyes. Divide the remaining white frosting into three bowls: add yellow, orange, and red food coloring to the bowls. Stir the colors in, and frost the feathers of your turkey cake.

thanksgiving-cake

With a table knife, run the blade down the middle of each feather and out to the sides, adding texture like real feathers. Add a beak and white circles for eyes. You can use chocolate chips for the pupils of the eyes, or just use a glob of chocolate frosting.

Now your turkey cake is complete! Happy Thanksgiving!

Dry Ice Volcano Cake

Monday, September 4th, 2017

dry-ice-volcano-cake

Look at this super cool dry ice volcano cake we had for my son’s natural disasters themed birthday party! I was brainstorming different ways to make a volcano cake, and I’ve never seen this done before, so I thought it would be fun to make. I wasn’t disappointed, and it was fairly easy to make!

Start by baking two cake boxes, for a total of four round cakes. Cool the cakes and place them in the fridge.

Put foil on a square piece of wood or cardboard, and tape the back. Up-end one round cake onto the center of the foil. Grab a chemistry flask and cut a circle with a knife around the edge of the flask. Remove the small circle of cake, and place the flask inside.

inside-volcano-cake

Cut circles into the other cakes, and slide them like stacking rings on top of the flask until the entire flask is hidden. If you have a taller flask, you will have to bake more cakes. This will result in a taller volcano.

chocolate-volcano

Place the entire stack in the fridge to cool. Then you are ready to sculpt the volcano. Look at the video demonstration to see how I shaped it:

You can do whatever you want with the scraps of chocolate cake that you cut off the volcano. At this point, you want to place the cake back into the fridge before frosting it.

carving-volcano-cake

Frost the cake with chocolate frosting, spinning the cake to get the icing to be smooth. You can cover up any mistakes you made with the icing.

frosting-volcano-cake

Feel free to poke in plastic palm trees at the bottom of your volcano to add authenticity. This was my husband’s idea, since they were left over from a Hawaiian themed party we did for my daughter years ago. You can buy plastic palm trees at a party store.

make-a-volcano-cake

Pour hot water into the volcano. Plop dry ice chunks into the volcano. (You can buy dry ice at most grocery stores, and it’s inexpensive.) Now you will see the volcano smoking downward in an incredible way!

erupting-volcano-cake

Make sure to watch the video above to see how cool this dry ice volcano cake turned out!

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